3 Popular For Sale By Owner Services Compared

By Home Bay

Posted on October 13th, 2015

When you go to sell your own home – you’re faced with a decision. Do you list with a flat fee MLS? Do you hire a discount brokerage? Do you opt for a FSBO service? And the biggest question… what’s the difference? Let’s take a look.

for sale by owner services

This post will help you understand the cost, pros and cons of these three services and will help you decide which will be the best fit for your home sale.

All sellers looking to manage the listing process themselves must use some form of a for sale by owner service to get their property listed on their regional MLS, which is the central hub for all active properties in their area. Many sellers use an agent to gain access to the MLS and get guidance through the listing, showing, escrow and closing process.

But an agent comes with a hefty pricetag – typically 3% of the total home sale. For the sake of comparison, let’s consider a $450,000 home sale. If you use a traditional listing agent, the agent will walk away with 3%, which equals $13,500. That’s why for sale by owner is gaining ground quickly! By not paying that 3% comission, you can save thousands of dollars.

When you’re choosing a for sale by owner service, the two key things you need to consider are 1) does the service fit my needs as a seller and provide as much support as I need for my comfort level and 2) does the service make good economic sense?

3 Popular For Sale By Owner Services Compared

Option 1 – Flat Fee MLS:

A flat fee MLS service is exactly what it sounds like. You pay a one-time flat fee and the service lists your property on the MLS, just like an agent would. That’s about all there is to it!

  • Cost:
    • $95-$499 (varies based on region, length of time on MLS & market conditions)
  • Pros:
    • Easy way to get your home listed on MLS
    • Your listing will automatically be syndicated to other popular listing sites
  • Cons:
    • Typically no assistance with selling process beyond listing on the MLS
    • Listings often have an expiration date + additional fees to buy more time

Option 2 – Discount Brokerage:

A discount brokerage is a reduced-service brokerage that offers lower commission fees than a traditional full-service brokerage. These brokerages are typically localized, not national.

  • Cost:
    • 1% – 2.5% commission (ex; $4,500 – $11,250 on a $450,000 home sale)
  • Pros:
    • You will get access to the MLS and may provide additional real estate services or guidance
    • Build a personalized service with the “fee per service” model
  • Cons:
    • Every discount brokerage is different in regards to what level of service they offer
    • Sellers still pay as much as 2.5% commission, which is a lot

Option 3 – FSBO Service:

These companies aren’t affiliated with any specific MLS, but rather offer a national service to for sale by owner consumers.

  • Cost:
    • $89 – $579 base + add-ons (varies greatly)
  • Pros:
    • Designed to support FSBOs exclusively
    • Lots of learning resources, marketing tips, etc.
  • Cons:
    • Piecemeal nature of pricing structure can create confusion and increase overall cost
    • Can be more difficult to get answers on region-specific questions

Option 4 – Home Bay, The A-Z Solution (NEW):

Home Bay has set out to revolutionize the act of selling your own property. Withaffordable pricing and comprehensive service,we’ve set out to simplify the process of selling your own home. Our services are currently exclusive to California and Florida.

  • Cost:
    • Single fee (starting at $2,000); includes comprehensive support. Get a quote!
  • Pros:
    • Helps guide you through every aspect of the selling process, from listing to close
    • Anytime access to on-demand customer service, learning center & blog
    • More comprehensive service for less money
    • No listing expiration dates
    • Help with all of your paperwork
    • No hidden fees
  • Cons:
    • You haven’t signed up yet

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Posted in Preparing to Sell, Seller Savings